3001

Clarke, Arthur C. 3001: The Final Odyssey. New York: Del Rey, 1997. What can be said about Clarke that hasn't already been said? I enjoyed this last of the Odysseys. I read it as slowly as I could, because I knew that I was saying goodbye to an old friend. In 3001, Clarke retrieves and revives the long-"dead" Frank Poole---just in time to discover that the Monolith(s) may not be as benevolent as we would have liked to believe. My only complaint about the book is the same as those I have with any sci-fi adventure: how can anyone predict what the next thousand years will bring? Clarke is known for saying that "any sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic," but here, there are quite a few recognizable areas. But Clarke is knowlingly apologetic: the inconsistencies between the four novels have less to do with a his lack of continuity than with his inability to predict just how much (as well as how little) our world would change over the last thirty years.